Jump to content

The modern concept of voice registers/configurations

Rate this topic


Manolito Mystiq
 Share

Recommended Posts

Dear everyone,

I see a lot of terms that seem quite new – even though I seem to be able to connect it to certain terminology I already know.

One of them is the Mode 0 – Mode 1 – Mode 2 (M0, M1, and M2).

M0 being vocal fry, a vocal sound without a tone.

M1 being 'chest voice' or the heavy mechanism.

M2 being 'head voice' or the light mechanism.

(M3 being whistle voice or the super light mechanism.)

Notice that I didn't mention falsetto. I still have a hard time placing it somewhere. I still see it as something unconnected. Clearly it is related to the light mechanism, although from what I understand from EVT, it's whenever the voice is disconnected, causing a high airflow and thus an airy sound.

M1 seems to be Overdrive in CVT, because of the – in my opinion erronously 'fixed' – max limit for both the male as well as the female singer, whereas Edge's and Curbing's max range are theoretically limitless, because they mask the lighter mechanism because of twang – especially Edge. There is, though an idea, that from a range onwards (around D5) everything is flageolet (which seems to be head voice or 'falsetto'?).

One problem of this idea, is the realization I had with EVT about singing being tilting the thyroid. If I do that, this Cry (with a neutral larynx) or Sob (with a low larynx), at first glance I seem to be in M2, but I can go very smoothly as low as I want, and as high as I want, as if there are no more registers, and with a good presence of warmth and resonation. I see this as the basis of singing. In keeping this 'singing' sound, I can hardly go lower than C3, a typical true classical tenor maximum low end. If I try to do it, I switch to this more bland, flat sound, Speech in EVT.

This does not explain, however, the high end of a tenor range in classical sense ending around D5, which seems to be part of the M1 concept.

Another thing. From what I understand from Maestro Alberto ter Doest (EVT master), is that for both the male and the female singer, the passagio is around E4, which is very odd to me.

Also, I see the terms F1, F2, etc. Are those related to formants?

Please enlighten me.

Sincerely,

Manuel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even though my own day job is quite technical and complex, I escape that in my singing. Nevertheless, I value what Robert Edwin was saying about the use of the M terminology. By getting way from older words or terms that carry emotional or mental baggage with them. While chest, head, falsetto, whatever, may have had some value for some people, they can also be limiting by the very nature of semantics. With M terminology, it is more about "vibratory states" or transitions, rather than defined "registers." And to get away from words of judgement such as falsetto. There is no part of the voice that is "false" so to keep calling part of it false is a disservice and limiting and ultimately leads to ineffective struggle. People may say that falsetto is not good or desirable. I say that limiting the voice is not good or desirable. Trying to "carry chest all the way up" can be just as limiting as "pulling head down" can be.

Just as singing in "chest" voice can be limiting if one is unwilling to also sing in "head." And to keep viewing these two things as separate. If we are really to say that the voice is the same organ when speaking or singing, well then, by golly, act like it. All parts of the voice are accessible and valid and usable. You only limit yourself.

Make the pitch, make it sound cool for the song you are doing. Let go of what is head, chest, or falsetto and just sing. But, to do that, means to let go of those terms. Like Lilli Lehmann said, if you really must use the word register, then you must define a register for each note, because there are minute adjustments for each new note. Otherwise, better to get rid of the use and paradigm of "registers."

I am NOT saying to not explore technique, different ways of describing. That will take work and patience. But, for me, in the end, results count. Whatever technique it was is secondary to the effect of the singing. Some may say "you are only singing correctly if you are doing it this way." And I may have also been guilty of that, at times, or at least it would seem so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with all of that. That was not the question I was asking. If new terminology is brought up it need to be understood. Obviously I needed to compare it with that what I already know, because other than getting really technical (which I am totally open for), I see no way in comprehending the new picture than to use already familiar concepts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well then, that might comparable to the idea of translating a language, rather than actually speaking it. The fastest way to learn a language is total immersion. To where you only hear this other language. Until then, people learn by translating, equating, as you would mention with judging by terms you already know. But let me ask you and nothing is wrong if you cannot answer, what did you think falsetto was before someone spoke that word to you? And did you know what it meant until someone verbally equated it to a sound? At some point in time, you had no equation, no translation. You only had total immersion. Someone spoke the word and made the sound and then you equated sound to word. And what made a full "head" voice sound? Was it lack of air in the sound, or that airy sound was not as apparent? And did the term head voice make any sense before then? Does it make more sense now that you have used it as a description, so much? And how does that work for you when others take about "carrying chest voice up to G5"?

That is why I like Anthony Frisell's description of chest voice, which has nothing to do with sympathetic vibrations in the clavicles. Chest voice is ring and volume, normally present in one's lower notes. And such ring and volume is achievable at higher notes. "Chest" is achievable in any part of the range once you let go of the MENTAL image of chest. Forget all about the ribcage, clavicles, the whole thoracic region. Chest is volume and ring.

And therefore, let go of adduction, closed quotient, aperture, Bernoulli and assorted other goosenfrabe. The effect upon the ear is whether there is ring and volume, not some strictly defined mechanical process.

Which leads us back to semantics, the effective use of what we mean by this or that word or description.

Even the M terminology is yet another means or perspective to get somewhere. And none of it can be manipulated by your fingers, for example. Neither teacher or student reaches into the throat and changes things. It's all in your head, literally and figuratively.

If I adopt the M thing, does my voice suddenly change physically? No. What changes is my perspective. I allow something I may have limited before and no, it's not always about going up in range. Sometimes, especially for me, it is in the other direction. And, in the end, my voice has not changed at all (adolescence aside and, by the way, my voice never cracked, as it does with so many other males.) What has changed is how I view it, perceive it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with all of that as well, because I know that, but again, that was not my question.

To answer your question, I was never satisfied with both terms chest voice, head voice, and even the term falsetto.

Especially some teachers who connect chest voice with the speaking voice. In some way I understand the idea, but it's very misleading, because as a result a singer could sing very flat, because there's no thyroid tilt whatsoever.

And then I'm bringing up a mechanical piece. But I stand by that this cry, sob, at least anything that has to do with thyroid tilt is the basis of someone singing. A singer using Speech (EVT term) in his song, I then won't say is not singing, though. See it as someone whispering to someone; that doesn't mean he isn't talking, but usually we don't talk by whispering.

Getting rid of the mental image of chest with chest voice is a paradox. I rather use the term full voice, or 'maybe' even mix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Falsetto is, but M2, are you sure? Don't you rather mean thin vocal folds – M1 being the thick vocal folds?

From Alberto ter Doest's lecture (master EVT), I understood he meant that. And that he would put falsetto also in that category (M2), but that EVT in general doesn't, that EVT says falsetto is still M1.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there Manolito,

there is some technical stuff in there... you appear to be a little bit of vocal geek like me ;)

Ronws makes a great point in that singing is more about singing than the mechanics and terminology, and achieving certain registers and conditions would be best felt/performed and then ratified technically after. The issue with a couple of schools of training is that they can be a bit too focussed on the physiological situation and that cripples students ability to be creative and sing freely. It's also good to not stick to the definitions of other systems but rather describe it in your own way from the sensation. Chaka Khan called her mixed voice 'Purple'. The technical term mix meant nothing to her lol.

Your mention of chest voice diminishing below C3 is largely to do with formants, in particular F1 (the throat resonator). The larynx in a neutral or low position wont give as much boost to the harmonics as a slightly raised one. This is because the harmonics with the most energy are way higher than the fundamental (actual note) at that point and need a smaller resonant space to boost them. Using this raised position is how an operatic bass can get the low notes to travel through an orchestra... a well tuned D2 will have a boosted harmonic equivalent to a soprano C6.

Looking at the voice as a whole, to get tonally consistent the larynx height is adjustable, lower at the top and higher at the bottom. If one remains rigid with their larynx position throughout the range inconsistencies occur... it's the subtle adjustments that make singing so hard! You may want to try what is commonly called 'twang', or use an A (cat) vowel to get the C3 and under working more intensely.

For the D5 sounding like M1, or I presume sounding like you have chest voice up high? Head voice can turn into a chesty sound from an improved closed quotient... best to google that for an explanation... and/or a deeper adduction of the vocal folds. You could explore onset exercises to get you that, combined with some exploration of the larynx height to support it. It all depends on the pitch.

F1 and F2 are the formant values of the throat and mouth. F1 and F2 change with the movement of the vocal tract and they are responsible for giving the voice energy and vowels their distinction. At the 1st bridge (and below) main harmonics are switching between F1 and F2. It's a big subject that one!

Female bridges aren't at E4, although there is a more subtle harmonic handover at this point and can present a problem in inexperienced singers. The main event is at A4. For men, they can also feel like they begin bridging on A3 for the same reason as women. On saying that, true basses and contraltos do bridge a 4th earlier due to their physiology.

It can get so technical. I would find a great teacher who can guide you to the right spots. The reasons why then become a lot clearer. Plus, there are lot of people out there with coverage who really don't understand who the voice really works and throw confusing stuff out into the singing domain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Putting some kind of label does not change how the voice works. The problem is that we cannot see the vocal mechanisms and therefore we cannot know what is happening. I also agree that we should not manually manipulate things by thinking "Here I need to lower my larynx and raise my left toe", follow the sound. But at the same time if you cannot make the sound you need to ask how others make that sound. To do that you need to use terms that others understand.

Scientists and teachers for some reason need to use terms that are not common and self explanitory. Mainly to set these terms apart from other concepts. And it sounds like you are smarter if you know their terms. :P

Tuning F1 to H2, or tuning F2 to H3 ......... You are matching the harmonics within your vocal noise by shaping the vocal tract.....Making the space within your mouth change to change the sound produced, Vowels.

I think that it would be a better explaination to say "Lift your tongue a little higher" or "broaden the back of the tongue" for this or that effect to happen. I do not know the exact effect of these things but others do. To broaden or narrow the tongue in the back makes a difference as far as the harmonics produced. Same thing with how high the tongue is in relation to the highth of the larynx.

This is what modifying vowels is all about, changing the shape of the vocal tract to enhance harmonics. Thinking of modifying vowels, all of these things change on their own without you thinking "Lift tongue, Raise soft palet, lower, larynx, broaden back of tongue. BUT, that is what is happening subtle changes in the whole vocal tract. Each one of these things changes the harmonic balance.

Someone like Ronws, May, already have a vocal tract that is SETUP for "Head resonance". He does not have to manipulate his larynx to tilt because it does it naturally. He may have to "Learn" to manipulate the larynx to "STOP" the tilt or to Lower the larynx in order to get a Heavier Baritone sound. Once that SOUND is learned, then you can follow the sound.

Of Course you do not have to Ronws. Just using you as an example.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm very sure that this was not explained like that in the course I was taking. I know that falsetto is a voice quality, but so are sob and cry. Thyroid tilt (thinning the vocal folds) was what I understood being M2. I will check back my recording of the lecture.

Remember that stiff vocal folds is disconnected, has a high airflow, low air pressure. But, one can easily go up higher than C5/D5 with a connected voice (smooth onset, not stiff). What would you call that, then? M1++?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Manolito,

"Stiff vocal folds" or M2 doesn't have to have a high airflow or be disconnected. You can achieve full adduction in this configuration. This is especially evident in the higher ranges. For instance sopranos use M2 in most of their range :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure that my way of explaining things are not in any course. :P I sometimes cannot understand what I said. :P

In CVT Different vowels are suggested for different modes because they shape the vocal tract in a way that helps the larynx to tilt or the folds to thin or thicken.

With an "i" or winey "OH" there is already pressure on the larynx that will help it tilt when singing higher.

AH has a nature that will thicken the vocal folds and open the back of the throat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear everyone,

I see a lot of terms that seem quite new – even though I seem to be able to connect it to certain terminology I already know.

One of them is the Mode 0 – Mode 1 – Mode 2 (M0, M1, and M2).

M0 being vocal fry, a vocal sound without a tone.

M1 being 'chest voice' or the heavy mechanism.

M2 being 'head voice' or the light mechanism.

(M3 being whistle voice or the super light mechanism.)

Notice that I didn't mention falsetto. I still have a hard time placing it somewhere. I still see it as something unconnected. Clearly it is related to the light mechanism, although from what I understand from EVT, it's whenever the voice is disconnected, causing a high airflow and thus an airy sound.

M1 seems to be Overdrive in CVT, because of the – in my opinion erronously 'fixed' – max limit for both the male as well as the female singer, whereas Edge's and Curbing's max range are theoretically limitless, because they mask the lighter mechanism because of twang – especially Edge. There is, though an idea, that from a range onwards (around D5) everything is flageolet (which seems to be head voice or 'falsetto'?).

One problem of this idea, is the realization I had with EVT about singing being tilting the thyroid. If I do that, this Cry (with a neutral larynx) or Sob (with a low larynx), at first glance I seem to be in M2, but I can go very smoothly as low as I want, and as high as I want, as if there are no more registers, and with a good presence of warmth and resonation. I see this as the basis of singing. In keeping this 'singing' sound, I can hardly go lower than C3, a typical true classical tenor maximum low end. If I try to do it, I switch to this more bland, flat sound, Speech in EVT.

This does not explain, however, the high end of a tenor range in classical sense ending around D5, which seems to be part of the M1 concept.

Another thing. From what I understand from Maestro Alberto ter Doest (EVT master), is that for both the male and the female singer, the passagio is around E4, which is very odd to me.

Also, I see the terms F1, F2, etc. Are those related to formants?

Please enlighten me.

Sincerely,

Manuel

The end of the tessitura, be it tenor, baritone or bass, is evaluated by auditory perception. The end is the point where the desired character starts to fade, and dynamic range is sacrificed (dynamic range is the difference between the loudest and softer possible sound, not how loud you can scream). Male tessituras that go above C5 are not common.

This is not supposed to be a limiting factor, and like classification, it is individual and not something you can decide uppon a simple reference of total range or the break point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My posts seem to be scattered throughout other conversations. They were not there when I wrote the posts. Sorry for the confusion. :/ At the time I thought it was just me and Manolito having the conversation. My bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Manolito,

"Stiff vocal folds" or M2 doesn't have to have a high airflow or be disconnected. You can achieve full adduction in this configuration. This is especially evident in the higher ranges. For instance sopranos use M2 in most of their range :)

M2 mightn’t, but stiff vocal folds...

‘Falsetto:

Physiology

True Vocal Fold: Body-Cover is Stiff.

Absent or fleeting closed phase during vibration, a minimally obstructed flow of breath, with the highest air flow rate of any quality.’ (Estill, 2010, p. 22)

‘Acoustics

...There will be interharmonic noise, particularly in the high frequency range, due to breath turbulence at the glottis.’ (Estill, 2010, p. 22)

‘“Register” or “Quality”?

Falsetto quality can be produced on any pitch in the range (if necessary Effort is invested). ...Falsetto does not resied solely in the upper range, and ... a shift in quality is not necessarily a register marker (meaning an obligatory shift in mechanics to achieve a higher frequency).

’ (Estill, 2010, p. 26)

Estill, J. Estill Voice Training Level Two: Figure Combinations for Six Voice Qualities Workbook. McDonald Klimek, Obert, Steinhauer [eds.]. 2010.

I may be completely wrong about this, I just don't see it the way I understand it now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

M2 mightn’t, but stiff vocal folds...

‘Falsetto:

Physiology

True Vocal Fold: Body-Cover is Stiff.

Absent or fleeting closed phase during vibration, a minimally obstructed flow of breath, with the highest air flow rate of any quality.’ (Estill, 2010, p. 22)

‘Acoustics

...There will be interharmonic noise, particularly in the high frequency range, due to breath turbulence at the glottis.’ (Estill, 2010, p. 22)

‘“Register” or “Quality”?

Falsetto quality can be produced on any pitch in the range (if necessary Effort is invested). ...Falsetto does not resied solely in the upper range, and ... a shift in quality is not necessarily a register marker (meaning an obligatory shift in mechanics to achieve a higher frequency).

’ (Estill, 2010, p. 26)

Estill, J. Estill Voice Training Level Two: Figure Combinations for Six Voice Qualities Workbook. McDonald Klimek, Obert, Steinhauer [eds.]. 2010.

I love reading these posts. Sometimes they get so far out i wonder, can you even demonstrate what is written and do you understand it to demonstrate it? or are you just talking intellectually to seem intelligent..:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan, the real problem is that all this neat pseudo technical talk does not represent what someone that listen understands as falsetto. A whisper on spoken voice is not understood as falsetto. And it conveys a different meaning.

An effort to explain in any possible way rather than understand and use on music. After all, if you use what is already there how can you innovate :rolleyes:.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love reading these posts. Sometimes they get so far out i wonder, can you even demonstrate what is written and do you understand it to demonstrate it? or are you just talking intellectually to seem intelligent..:)

You can only get the workbook if you took the 10+ hour EVT level 1 & 2 course, for that reason you talk about: that one EVT user should understand the fundamentals correctly. Next to that, however, I followed a 30+ hour Certified Master Preliminary course. So I'm baffled that my understanding of EVT's falsetto is different from Martin's.

@FelipeCarvalho: I don't agree with some of EVT's classifications for falsetto, but this is what they decide to do. I wouldn't so easily call it pseudo technical, because the workbook is full of references of scientific research.

However, I do think the workbook is poorly written. Maybe it is intentionally done so, so that you need to follow the Level 1 & 2 course for it to make sense, but then again, you only get the workbooks if you've attended a course in the first place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

our voices are capable of million diffrent sounds and tons of diffrent coordinations. Narrowing it down into functions and registers such as m1,m2,chest,head, curb,neutral ect Will ALWAYS be a simplification and a mere guideline.

M1,m2,m3,m0 also overlap so there are many places in the voice where m1 can do the same sound as m2.

Thats the problem with all of this... Your blowing air on two pieces of flesh to create sound that in the first place wasnt intended for that.

Now we are trying to map those sounds, we will never get it right. Cause the written language never can pinpoint sound exactly as it sounds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I'm baffled that my understanding of EVT's falsetto is different from Martin's.

Well, if you read further on in regards to falsetto you'll see that they also state that: "In the high range, falsetto can potentially overpower other voice parts in an ensemble" and "can be used in pop music and gospel, for emotive high pitched "outbursts". And on page 27 they also talk about making falsetto louder and that sopranos may use falsetto as well. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if you read further on in regards to falsetto you'll see that they also state that: "In the high range, falsetto can potentially overpower other voice parts in an ensemble" and "can be used in pop music and gospel, for emotive high pitched "outbursts". And on page 27 they also talk about making falsetto louder and that sopranos may use falsetto as well. :)

Throughout the ages Falsetto has meant different things to different schools of singing and teaching. And, always will. MOST laymen see and hear Falsetto as that configuration that makes the MICKEY MOUSE,disconnected sound or FAKE Girly sound used by men to imitate women. Even if taken below E4 down to C3 it still sounds disconnected and "Heady".

Absolutely can be used and often is used in any genre.

My own opinion is that Falsetto is the only coordination that can truely be called a REGISTER. It has a character that is distict from any other "Sound". A "Register" is a group of notes that hold a particular common characteristic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Throughout the ages Falsetto has meant different things to different schools of singing and teaching.

That is correct. However, in regards to the discussion in this thread falsetto as a quality defined by EVT uses a figure which EVT term "stiff vocal folds" which is equal to the scientific definition M2. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if you read further on in regards to falsetto you'll see that they also state that: "In the high range, falsetto can potentially overpower other voice parts in an ensemble" and "can be used in pop music and gospel, for emotive high pitched "outbursts". And on page 27 they also talk about making falsetto louder and that sopranos may use falsetto as well. :)

Yes, but that doesn't say anything about vocal fold closure.

And, what where would you place Sob/Cry then?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...